Please disable your Ad Blocker to better interact with this website.

Lawmakers, attorneys, leaders back legislation to combat human trafficking in Florida with education, hotline
Florida Politics

Lawmakers, attorneys, leaders back legislation to combat human trafficking in Florida with education, hotline


During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention month, lawmakers, leaders and special-interest groups have come together to stand behind proposed state legislation that would educate Floridians about human trafficking and create a statewide hotline for reporting.

Florida has one of the highest per-capita concentrations of reported trafficking in the country — greater than either Texas or New York, according to data from the Polaris Project and During a Monday morning press conference at the Florida Capitol, Representatives Barrington Russell (D-Lauderdale Lakes) and Robert Asencio (D-Miami) and Senator Perry Thurston (D-Fort Lauderdale) introduced their legislation and said it aims to combat the rising rates of human trafficking crime throughout the state.

The lawmakers were joined by several others, including supporters from special-interest groups who called on the Criminal Justice Subcommittee to hear the bill, and former state Sen. Maria Sachs, who who during her time in state government served on a gubernatorial Human Trafficking Task Force and helped pass bills that combated the issue. She is also founder of the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking.

Trending: House Democrats Approve Immigration Reform Bills

“Human trafficking prevention requires awareness, so I am in support of these bills because they also ensure that the long-term fight against human trafficking will continue through public education,” Sachs said.

take our poll - story continues below

Who is most likely to win the Democrat nomination?

  • Who is most likely to win the Democrat nomination?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Completing this poll grants you access to Floridian Press updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Pamela Marsh also gave remarks in support.

“Florida is ground zero in the fight against human trafficking. Our state ranks third for number of total calls of tips to the national hotline from all sources,” she said. “We must draw human trafficking out of the shadows, and expose it to the full light of day. Only then can we eradicate it.”

Civil rights attorney and advocate Ben Crump cited a Bureau of Justice Statistics report that showed 77 percent of victims in alleged human trafficking incidents reported in the U.S. were people of color. Research conducted by the Polaris Project, a leader in the global fight to eradicate human trafficking, revealed that those most at risk of being trafficked are people who are oppressed or part of marginalized groups such as undocumented migrants – largely people of color.

“Enslaving and exploiting human beings for profit did not end with the passage of the 13th amendment,” Crump said. “The business of using and abusing people – even children –  to satisfy the sick needs and demands of those with means but no morals is endemic in our society, and people of color are still the most vulnerable victims of this kind of exploitation.”

Beyond education and reporting, Crump called on the Legislature to address the roles that poverty, lack of educational and economic opportunities, and growing up in high-risk neighborhoods also play in making marginalized Floridians vulnerable to human trafficking.

Others who spoke in support included representatives of the Female Development World Organization, and the National Council of Negro Women.


Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning South Florida-based political journalist owns Diverse New Media, Corp. which publishes,,, and He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming and biking. He ran as a Republican in the 2018 congressional primary race in Florida's CD 22. Javier is also a political consultant, and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Learn more at Email him at [email protected]

Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 1.36.23 PM
FeaturedFloridaFlorida Politics
Democrats push to protect healthcare pre-existing conditions
"No person should worry that they may be one hospital bill away from bankruptcy [...]
Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 12.57.36 PM
FeaturedFloridaFlorida Politics
New Broward County Supervisor of Elections is Sworn in
Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 10.42.32 PM
FeaturedFloridaFlorida Politics
More Records Released Concerning Gillum’s FBI Investigation